Cleveland Public Library Presents Writers & Readers 2022

Cleveland Public Library series brings together authors, performers, journalists, activists, and educators to discuss the issues impacting our communities. A virtual workshop will accompany each Writers & Readers event to give participants a platform to seek greater understanding and find common ground to issues facing our city.

These events are free and open to the public, but attendees are encouraged to register.


Changing Dance Culture

Saturday, March 19, 2022 | 12:00PM

Via Zoom


Commitment to Stopping Gender Violence

Saturday, May 21, 2022 | 12:00PM

Via Zoom


Courage to Speak Up

Saturday, August 13, 2022 | 12:00PM

Third Space Labs and online via Zoom


Commitment to Truth

Saturday, November 19, 2022 | 12:00PM

Via Zoom



About Misty Copeland

Misty Copeland leapt over barriers with grace and style from the age of 13 when she discovered ballet through a class at her local Boys and Girls Club. Her talent and potential steered her toward a professional dance career on a difficult path strewn with family conflict and struggles for self-determination. As the first African American woman to be named a soloist for the American Ballet Theater and, later, the first Black principal dancer at a major international dance company, she has changed the face of ballet and made it possible for others to dare to dream of a different life. Copeland has since expanded her professional career with modeling, acting, film and television, product endorsements, and the design of her own dancewear line of clothing.

About Black Ballerinas My Journey to Our Legacy

From New York Times bestselling and award-winning author and American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Misty Copeland comes an illustrated nonfiction collection celebrating dancers of color who have influenced her on and off the stage.As a young girl living in a motel with her mother and her five siblings, Misty Copeland didn’t have a lot of exposure to ballet or prominent dancers. She was sixteen when she saw a black ballerina on a magazine cover for the first time. The experience emboldened Misty and told her that she wasn’t alone—and her dream wasn’t impossible. In the years since, Misty has only learned more about the trailblazing women who made her own success possible by pushing back against repression and racism with their talent and tenacity. Misty brings these women’s stories to a new generation of readers and gives them the recognition they deserve. With an introduction from Misty about the legacy these women have had on dance and on her career itself, this book delves into the lives and careers of women of color who fundamentally changed the landscape of American ballet from the early 20th century to today.

Saturday, March 19, 2022 | 12:00PM

Afro-fusion and Step Dance Workshop

A free active dance workshop

Experience the joy of movement and self-expression through dance. This free dance workshop explores African and Western dance styles, hip hop, stepping, and HBCU dance styles.

Saturday, March 26 | 12:00 p.m.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Branch
1962 Stokes Boulevard



About Anita Hill

Nearly 30 years before the #MeToo movement Anita Hill appeared before Congress during confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. Her courageous testimony of the sexual harassment did not stop Thomas’ appointment but it did change the conversation around sexual harassment, empower others to step forward, and spur wider discussions about gender-based violence. Believing is a manifesto about the origins and course of gender violence in our society; a combination of memoir, personal accounts, law, and social analysis, and a powerful call to arms from one of our most prominent and poised survivors.

About Believing

In 1991, Anita Hill began something that’s still unfinished work. The issues of gender violence, touching on sex, race, age, and power, are as urgent today as they were when she first testified. Believing is a story of America’s three decades long reckoning with gender violence, one that offers insights into its roots, and paths to creating dialogue and substantive change. It is a call to action that offers guidance based on what this brave, committed fighter has learned from a lifetime of advocacy and her search for solutions to a problem that is still tearing America apart.

Saturday, May 21, 2022 | 12:00PM

Beyond Gender Stereotypes:
The Path to Authenticity and Equity for Everyone

Community Workshop

Plexus LGBT & Allied Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Amanda Cole, leads an interactive, online workshop designed to explore the intersection of gender stereotypes and gender-based violence and the ways that they spawn homophobia and transphobia against LGBTQ+ individuals or those perceived to be LGBTQ+. Discover tools we can all use to help support a shift to societal “rules” and norms that create healthier and more equitable spaces for everyone.



About Ashley Ford

Ashley C. Ford’s New York Times best-selling memoir, Somebody’s Daughter, was published by Flatiron Books in June 2021. Ford is the former host of The Chronicles of Now podcast, co-host of The HBO companion podcast Lovecraft Country Radio. She currently lives in Indianapolis, Indiana with her husband, poet and fiction writer Kelly Stacy, and their chocolate lab Astro Renegade Ford-Stacy.

Ford has written or guest-edited for ELLE Magazine, Slate, Teen Vogue, New York Magazine, The New York Times, Domino, Cup of Jo, and various other web and print publications.

About Somebody’s Daughter

Through poverty, adolescence, and a fraught relationship with her mother, Ashley C. Ford wishes she could turn to her father for hope and encouragement. There are just a few problems: he’s in prison, and she doesn’t know what he did to end up there. She doesn’t know how to deal with the incessant worries that keep her up at night, or how to handle the changes in her body that draw unwanted attention from men. In her search for unconditional love, Ashley begins dating a boy her mother hates. When the relationship turns sour, he assaults her. Still reeling from the rape, which she keeps secret from her family, Ashley desperately searches for meaning in the chaos. Then, her grandmother reveals the truth about her father’s incarceration . . . and Ashley’s entire world is turned upside down.

Somebody’s Daughter steps into the world of growing up a poor Black girl in Indiana with a family fragmented by incarceration, exploring how isolating and complex such a childhood can be. As Ashley battles her body and her environment, she embarks on a powerful journey to find the threads between who she is and what she was born into, and the complicated familial love that often binds them.

Saturday, August 13, 2022 | 12:00PM
ThirdSpace Labs
1464 E 105th St #302, Cleveland

Weaving Our Family Tapestry

Community Workshop

Join the Cleveland Public Library and ThirdSpace ActionLab for a reflective, action-oriented workshop that aims to thread our personal identity through our family stories as a first step toward re-weaving our personal narrative. We will gently explore the many pieces which can make up our personal and family stories including race, gender, culture, growth, truth, memory, shame, trauma, comfort, betrayal, survival, truth, belonging, and more.

This event is offered both live (at ThirdSpace ActionLab) and virtually (online via Zoom.) Please choose the option that best fits your needs.



About Nikole Hannah-Jones

Nikole Hannah-Jones is the Pulitzer Prize-winning creator of The 1619 Project and a staff writer at The New York Times Magazine. She has spent her career investigating racial inequality and injustice, and her reporting has earned her the MacArthur Fellowship, known as the Genius grant, a Peabody Award, two George Polk Awards and the National Magazine Award three times. Hannah-Jones also earned the John Chancellor Award for Distinguished Journalism and was named Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists and the Newswomen’s Club of New York. In 2020 she was inducted into the Society of American Historians and in 2021 she was named a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. She also serves as the Knight Chair of Race and Journalism at Howard University, where she is founding the Center for Journalism & Democracy.

About The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story

In late August 1619, a ship arrived in the British colony of Virginia bearing a cargo of twenty to thirty enslaved people from Africa. Their arrival led to the barbaric and unprecedented system of American chattel slavery that would last for the next 250 years. This is sometimes referred to as the country’s original sin, but it is more than that: It is the source of so much that still defines the United States.

The New York Times Magazine‘s award-winning “1619 Project” issue reframed our understanding of American history by placing slavery and its continuing legacy at the center of our national narrative. This new book substantially expands on that work, weaving together eighteen essays that explore the legacy of slavery in present-day America with thirty-six poems and works of fiction that illuminate key moments of oppression, struggle, and resistance. The essays show how the inheritance of 1619 reaches into every part of contemporary American society, from politics, music, diet, traffic, and citizenship to capitalism, religion, and our democracy itself.

Saturday, November 19 | 12:00 P.M.